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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will no longer offer the Wild Oats organic food brand, according to a published report in The Wall Street Journal, citing “people familiar with the matter.” Launched two years ago as a way of making organic products more affordable, the product line will be phased out over the next few months.
In 2014, Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart struck a deal with Los Angeles private equity firm Yucaipa Cos., enabling the mega-retailer to sell Wild Oats branded shelf-stable products such as pasta sauce and cereal. Yucaipa co-founder and Managing Partner Ron Burkle purchased the brand in 2012, five years after the Wild Oats natural food store chain was snapped up by Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc.
Instead of carrying Wild Oats, Walmart will reportedly ramp up its fresh produce offering, bring in more oganic national brands and add organic items from existing national brands, as well as introduing more organic food options to its Great Value store brand. The company recently introduced organic Great Value items in Canada.
When contacted by PG, Walmart declined to comment on its relationship with Wild Oats.